Two months after the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-370, the European Aviation Safety Agency (E.A.S.A) has just come up with three proposals to facilitate the location of missing aircraft and increase the effectiveness of the well known black box recorders.
E.A.S.A. has proposed increasing the duration of black box signal emissions from 30 to 90 days together with the cockpit voice recording time from two to twenty hours minimum. Measures that would allow the possibility of locating an aircraft for up to three months after its disappearance from radar screens, together with the recording of all pilot conversations.
And to facilitate search and rescue (S.A.R) missions, particularly at sea, the agency also proposes an additional means of detection, such as an additional beacon transmitting on a frequency, other than that of black boxes, being attached to the fuselage of commercial aircraft.
Dominique Fouda, European Aviation Safety Agency:
"Either commercial aircraft flying over large oceanic distances could be equipped with this beacon, or equipped with a means of detecting them within six nautical miles of the accident impact location; but in any case, the idea is to also increase the range, in both cases, by at least five or six times that of the present distance."
This measure, whose cost is estimated at 3,500 euros, per 'plane, could come into force on January 1st., 2019. The European Commission must first study these recommendations, and then it will be up to the European Parliament to adopt the new directive, probably in the second half of 2015. Such measures would then apply to all 6,000 registered commercial aircraft within the 32 member states of the European Aviation Safety Agency. A decision that could then be followed closely by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A), with repercussions for all long-haul aircraft worldwide.The problem is also under consideration by the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization ( I.C.A.O). At a meeting with the major industry players on 12th., and 13th., May in Montreal, Canada, they indicated that a series of recommendations to improve the monitoring of flights would be announced by next September.